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LinuxCon 2010 Education Mini-Summit: The State of Open Data in Education
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LinuxCon 2010 Education Mini-Summit: The State of Open Data in Education


A call for more, open data in education so we can foster innovative applications, better tools for teaching, and tons of interesting applications we haven't even thought of.

A call for more, open data in education so we can foster innovative applications, better tools for teaching, and tons of interesting applications we haven't even thought of.

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  • StudentsOlin College of EngineeringProgrammersAndy: summer @ IBM Lotus – data widgetsColin: summer @ OpenPlans – open transit designEducation PeopleAlight LearningFOSS PeopleWe’re not the experts in the room!But we hope we can help you think differently
  • * You’re the Open Source CrowdBuuut, we think you’re talents apply well to data, tooWe would like to argue, it is more important to push open data than to push for more open software.You are good at solving this problemBuild on each others shouldersLots of fuzzy edges – licensingHave experience from OpenSource on how to deal with these issuesEx: OpenStreetMapPortland can use
  • * Have specific rules to make the community
  • Data begets amazing, innovative software
  • * Raw boring data turned into cool shit
  • * More data the merrier* Either case, we don’t care* Use ShareAlike where it makes sense* Use GPL other places were it makes senseReporting data is public domainWe care more that data is available than who/how its storedOSS backend? Proprietary Pearson backend? Fine.
  • * Imagine Twitter mashed up with attendance data* There are good uses out there
  • There are 4 of them!
  • Shift gears here and show what this philosophy and mindset has done in different industries
  • Standard of IMS Global – non-profit for
  • Standard of IMS Global – non-profit for


  • 1. Before you get bored of this Presentation-- some cool links
    OpenPlans ( )
    Colin’s summer non-profit
    Non-profit, OpenSource innovation-shop
    The Civic Hacker (awesome blog)
    Egov powered by - Wiki on best open data practices for cities – Open Source geographic centered crisis information system
    Open Transportation
    Case of Open Data in Transportation:
    NYC DoE School of One Pilot
    Data Standards data format for real-world issue reporting (grafitti, fire hydrants, etc). Used by SF and DC
    Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF)
    Open Zone Integration Server
    Common Cartridge
    Cool Applications of Data
  • 2. The State of Open Data in Education
    Andy Pethan and Colin Zwiebel
  • 3. About Us / Disclaimer
    Education People
    FOSS People
    Cool Software:
    We’re not the experts in the room!
    But we hope we can help you think differently
  • 4. Program Flow
    Open data
    Overview of Education data standards
    The path ahead
  • 5. Does Open Source apply to data?
    Different topic, same mindset
    Building on each others data
    Like code, plethora of ways to license data
    Focus on the community
  • 6. “The value of LIFT is the community, not the code base.”
    - David Pollackfounder Of Lift Framework
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9. The World is Increasingly Data Driven
    Number of analytics companies!!!
    Smarter Planet initiative
    Open Government Initiative
  • 10. We Need Open Data in Education
    What do we want?
    What do we have?
    Aggregate school reporting
    State and national statistics
    Inaccessible (PDFs, CDs at specific schools)
    We care more that data is available than who/how its stored
  • 11. Why?
    • We think…
    • 12. Better studies
    • 13. More informed decisions
    • 14. Data is proof
    But we don’t really know! Imagine…
    Twitter and attendance
    School of One
  • 15. Data Lock-in
    Vendor specific data sucks
    If you don’t work with commercial software, they lock you out
    They have enough data to get away with this today – no other collection of data competes
  • 16. Building a foundation
    Every school has a large set of common needs
    Facilitation of learning
    Schools as a business
    Public government
  • 17. Open311, OpenMuni Case Studies
    San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Phil Ashlock
    Cities have mishmash of systems, a standard needs to sit on top as abstraction layer
    Open source community practices were critical in guiding these standards building initiatives
  • 18. Open Transportation
    Brian Farris – One Bus Away
    Developers are nimble –lunch-time hackathon
    Real-time data: sensitive?
    OpenTripPlanner, OpenStreetMaps
    Major existing standards
  • 19. Open Education Data Today
    Little sharing, not real-time
    Major existing standards
    National Education Data Model (NEDM)
    Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF)
    Common Cartridge (CC)
    Sharable Content Objects Relational Model (SCORM)
  • 20. (NEDM)
    Standardized way to collect data and describe almost everything:
    Blood type
    Bus Routes
    Neighborhood demographics
    No reference implementation
  • 21. Common Cartridge
  • 22. Common Cartridge
    Transfers content from publishers to LMSes
    Commercial buy in:
    McGraw Hill
    FOSS support:
  • 23. Schools Interoperability Framework
  • 24. Schools Interoperability Framework
    Unifies data from many vendors in a school
    Many services communicating via a single traffic director, or “Zone Integration Server”
    Open source reference implementation
    Mature standard, mandated in some states
  • 25. Take Action
  • 26. Take Action
    In education:
    Demand compliance from your school/district
    In Development
    ACID test of NEDM
    NEDM reference implementation
    Data-driven educational apps
    Open Data Repository (Wikipedia for data)
  • 27. What’s Stopping Us?
    Consensus building
    Who’s job?
  • 28. Open Data and Your Educational Software Project
    Ex: educational games
    Data producers and crunches need not be the same
    Get your data out there!
    Data proof
  • 29. Open Data and Your Data Repository
    Support development of data sharing standards
    Provide data to the credentialed individuals
    Give me easy access to data
    Data I’m allowed to see
    Let my software do innovative things on a classroom level
  • 30. We Can Entice people to join the Open data cause thorough Innovation
    You are a member of an education project (packaging, marketing, promoting)
    Need to get data out there
  • 31.
  • 32. Conclusion
    Open data matters for education
    Developing standards, educational initiatives, and tech advances look positive
    Your skills and mindset are needed in this young movement
    And don’t stop innovating!